The Burj Khalifa’s prominent role in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is the biggest part to date for this colossal architectural feat of steel and glass that currently ranks as the world’s tallest building. Letting Tom Cruise spend some quality time clinging to its gleaming and impenetrable-seeming façade only increased its cache as an up-and-coming figure in international cinema.
Tom’s derring-do in Dubai has been well-documented here, and for good reason: Where actors step aside for stuntmen or perform what appear to be dangerous acts in front of a green screen, Tom opts for authenticity by leaping headlong out the window himself. And while that sometimes seems the domain of the mad man, there are people who actually make it their business to punch the clock on the outside of the world’s most difficult to access structures.
Enter Megarme, an industrial rope-access firm whose job it is to repair, paint, clean, fasten and otherwise perform maintenance on the most hard to reach structures on the planet. Exhibit A below gives you a good idea of what this work entails. Remember, this is their day job.
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The technicians in the work-at-height sector, as it is known, must be IRATA-certified (International Rope Access Trade Association)—and fearless. One day they might be rappelling down Tornado Tower in Qatar and the next they’re changing lights on an oil rig deep in the heart of the Indian Ocean. But certification alone isn’t enough to get you up the elite limited-access buildings.
“You wouldn’t send someone who is fresh out of a course up a building like the Burj Khalifa,” said Daniel Gill, Megarme’s head of business development. “There is a very big difference between having a piece of paper that says you can do it, and actually going up and doing it.”
If washing the windows on the Burj Khalifa is your dream job, start tying your knots now.
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